Since You Asked: We've got ideas for Bella Vita

With the demise of the Bella Vita project in downtown Medford, are there any plans for removing the orange construction fencing and improving the look of the backside of the parking garage?

— Jon B., Medford

We checked with Jackie Rodgers, director of the Medford Urban Renewal Agency, and she said yes, there are plans to dress up the block a bit.

Not only will the plastic fencing be removed and replaced with something a little more visually appealing, but the agency plans to put in new sidewalks around the block, along Main, Fir and Eighth streets. That way pedestrians once again will be able to walk down the streets without having to walk in the streets. She said new sidewalks should make the area look better, especially since it's currently prone to weeds. There's still no Plan B (or Plan C) for developing that block, since MURA and the Bella Vita developer dissolved the agreement to build the site.

Maybe we could turn it into outdoor handball and racquetball courts? Add some nubs to the walls of the parking garage and make it into a huge rock-climbing wall? Set up a projector and show old movies?

Oooooo-Ooooooo!! We could paint a gigantic mural in the Realist style over all the garage's outside walls depicting a six-story multi-use building crowded with shoppers, office workers and condo residents!

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We get so many questions we can't answer them all, but we'll try!

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